I had so many well-meaning intentions for this “interweb” space I have… but being a Mom to two girls, sicknesses (all around), trying to hold a full time job among other things – let’s suffice it to say I have never been good at time management. I am always that milestone on the project plan that gets pushed and eventually turns into an enhancement request that just never gets implemented.
Why am I posting today though? My girls are good. The youngest that inspired me to put my words out to the ether is doing well. She will be having a visit with EI soon to assess her language and communication skills since they are still lagging behind. I also want to have her hips get examined – they are too loose and “poppy” than I think should be OK. Anyhow, my girls are my super heroes. I seriously wish I could spend every breathing moment with them… well OK maybe I need a break in there.. but you get the gist. However they are not why I am writing this. I am writing this about my husband – Jesse Noller.
These last two years have been really trying. He and I have had our ups and major downs. I have admittedly thought about leaving. Letting his mistress (anything tech) take the lead while I carry on with the girls. The past two years have been specifically trying because of a large language conference he has been chairing. I have seen this conference take every ounce of energy from him and leave a pretty cranky and tired (among other things) human (I think) in its place. It seems there is always some fire or some drama that he has to get into and help resolve. There are a lot of folks who do not like him. He is the squeaky wheel when things are just inherently wrong – but he is more than that – he volunteers to fix it. He does this because his vision of community is striking. He was once that quiet nerd in the background trying to figure what his next step would be, now he is strong, verbose and very outspoken about things like education, diversity, an open community. He is holding a flag and working with those to lead these changes. He worked his globules off in creating something where kids can even join and enjoy. He exposed all this work at Pycon 2013. I was so proud watching his opening keynote (I am already getting teary-eyed thinking about it). I also felt quite guilty. All this yelling and moaning about how I don’t get to spend enough time with him, the girls don’t get to see their Dad, or when they do he is a grumpy mess – all of those conversations I looked back on when I saw all his work unveiled through the number of attendees, the rise in the presence of women, and the best part to me – the kids, I felt quite awe-stricken. So proud. Amazed beyond belief. I wish I had been there to get on stage and hug him – because that is how much emotion he fired up in me
Jesse has grown and evolved in the 10 years I have known him into a very caring, passionate, humane wonderful person. He constantly attributes meeting me into becoming that person, but I think it’s a combination of things and I definitely think being a father has pushed this growth in the direction it has gone. That is why it upsets me so much – that here is he working to make the Python community work together in an environment that is thoughtful and non-hostile, so it can welcome folks who love to build and create from all walks of life, young and old and inspire future growth into a language that may not have been interesting to someone until they saw the community aspects of it. (Holy long run-on sentence, I know) Python, in Jesse’s world is much more than a programming language – based on some blog posts after the con, it’s not just his world anymore. A lot of programmers want to see that world and have been inspired by it. Here is the bittersweet part of that vision though, there are still many members who do not hold that vision – nor do they care to. There were quite a few instances where folks made some really bad choices, some where they actually broke the law– and somehow now this has become his fault. To the point he is getting harassed – not just on twitter or email or some tech forum, but getting calls – phone calls. To me that is a red flag of escalation. Someone(s) is feeling courageous enough not to hide behind a browser and keyboard. Which to me is all sorts of things, but mostly scary. People are mad that he and other staff members created a COC – guidelines on how to carry one’s self and what would not be acceptable. Not only did they create these guidelines, but they carried them through and a person was removed from the con. It’s unfortunate that it had to get to that point, but that is not the fault of the PyCon staff, that is the fault of those making bad choices. It was not like the COC was something kept underwraps, and no one knew what could happen. I am not sure what makes people think they are above such rules or that they are invincible to consequences. Now why Jesse and others, but mostly Jesse, is suffering bad consequences for something with good intentions is beyond all logical thought.
I am writing all of this because I just need to talk it out (yes I am talking as I type this) and understand why people are so venomous, so scary, so willing to attack others when really they should be looking in the mirror. I know Jesse will still try to carry this torch he lit while chairing Pycon, but quite frankly I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. The ugliness of things tends to be more apparent than the beauty. I hope that can be changed. Good Luck hun.
- PyCon’s response to an inappropriate incident on March 17th (pycon.blogspot.com)
- How awesome was PyCon? (mechanicalcat.net)
- Katie Cunningham: PyCon 2013: Young Coders (therealkatie.net)
- My First PyCon (corfield.org)
- PyCon’s Code of Conduct: The Next Step (peak5390.wordpress.com)